“Wonder Woman,” starring Gal Gadot has touched a chord with the fashion and retail industries. Brands creating products themed around the film include Louis Vuitton and Givenchy; designers Tory Burch, Nanette Lepore and Betsey Johnson; retailers Ron Robinson at Fred Segal and Kohl’s, and verticals such as Gap, Torrid and Hot Topic. Target and Wal-Mart are launching collections; Under Armour is introducing sleek performance activewear, and elevated ath-leisure brand Nuyu is offering a stylish fitness line. Men’s style is being celebrated by labels such as Hero Within designed by Comic-Con blogger Tony Kim, emerging label Ukonic and mass-market licensee Bioworld.
It could be the modern retelling of the classic, 75-year-old comic book saga or the fact that Warner Bros.’ “Wonder Woman” is the first time a studio has featured the heroine in a film on her own. According to critics, Gadot plays Wonder Woman as self-reliant and strong. She’s not objectified nor does she find herself in need of saving like most celluloid damsels, super or not.
Still, there’s been criticism of “Wonder Woman” — which hits theaters next month — as submissive and having S&M overtones. Koo said, “She embodies strength. She’s very iconic and known for her humanity. She promotes having the courage to be kind.” She pointed out that Wonder Woman appeared in last year’s “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” — and stole the show.
“She’s served as a global, cultural touchstone,” said Soo Koo, chief creative officer of Warner Bros. Consumer Products. “She’s known for her humanity for men and women. In the film, she’s so powerful and compassionate and empathetic and kind to all kinds of people. I’m a strong character and I was crying when I saw the movie.”
“The products represent that opportunity for fans to channel their own superpowers,” Koo said, adding that Warner Bros. Consumer Products has taken a lifestyle approach to the collections with logos on the inside lining of garments for a more refined approach.
Wonder Woman is known in her homeland as Princess Diana of Themyscira. Diana Prince is her civilian name. According to her origin story, she was sculpted from clay by her mother Queen Hippolyta and given life by Aphrodite, but in updates, she’s been depicted as the daughter of Zeus. Whatever her background, she’s resourceful, blessed with superhuman strength and has cool accessories like the Lasso of Truth, indestructible bracelets, sword and shield.
Warner Bros. Consumer Products teamed with accessories and jewelry brands to create fashion-forward bracelets, headbands and more. Nanette Lepore and A Classic Time conveyed Wonder Woman’s timelessness with an extravagant watch collection, while Love and Madness offers accessories designed and crafted by women. Alex and Ani also created a line of jewelry and collectible charm bracelets.
Kohl’s will feature an exclusive DC Comics-inspired Her Universe activewear collection for juniors to plus size. Pop-culture brand Hot Topic will launch a Her Universe apparel collection in stores and online, which was designed for fans, by fans; Her Universe held a design contest at last year’s International Comic-Con in San Diego. Torrid.com will sell the Wonder Woman collection in plus sizes.
The Lemlem Foundation, founded by international model and advocate Liya Kebede, whose mission is to improve African women’s lives by promoting access to health care and economic opportunities, inspired high-end brands to design a piece of ready-to-wear that will be auctioned off during an event in Paris on June 7, with all proceeds benefiting the charity.
Warner Bros. Consumer Products partnered with Mauritius for biker jackets to suede to metallic jackets, and retailer Kyle by Alene Too, which will feature Wonder Woman-themed apparel and accessories from established and emerging designers.
HSN will offer Wonder Woman fans a unique collection of apparel and accessories, jewelry and beauty products, including a five-piece Benefits set exclusive to the collaboration. There’s also a work-leisure line from Project Gravitas that includes a “Save the Day” cape, pant, dress and blouse.
“I’ve always thought of the lightning bolt as an iconic symbol that stands for exciting, powerful energy,” said Betsey Johnson, who designed a rtw line for HSN. “When I started incorporating it into my designs, I began associating it with Wonder Woman and was very inspired by her character. She kicks ass and works hard, with devotion and dedication, which I see in all women around me.”
“The ‘Wonder Woman’ franchise for us is a 365-days-a-year business,” Koo said. “We’re thrilled we’re going from celebrating 75 years of the Wonder Woman franchise to the film. Beyond that there will still be additional product support as we follow the film through its cycle and DVD release.”
Koo said Warner Bros. Consumer Products has had bigger collaborations, but “this is as big as what we’ve done in the past. For example, we collaborated with Moschino and Looney Toons and Bloomingdale’s for a DC 75 collection.”
“Were going to have a new collection every season,” Koo said. “They’ll be trend-right and fashion-forward. We do that for our key franchises. I feel like we’ve done so many assortments, from specialty to mass. We’ve done a good job representing the brand. We’ll continue to carry product way beyond the film into November, when ‘Justice League’ premieres.”